baseball

Recap: Gamecocks drop rubber game to Clemson in 11 innings

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South Carolina squared off with Clemson Sunday afternoon at Founders Park in Columbia in the rubber game of the weekend rivalry series. Sophomore Adam Hill was on the mound for the Gamecocks. How did the Gamecocks fare?

FINAL: Clemson 5, South Carolina 3

LINESCORE

CLE (8-3) – 000 100 101 02 = 5-8-0

USC (7-5) – 001 001 100 00 = 3-11-1

WP – Alex Schnell (1-0)

LP – Brandon Murray (0-1)

SV – None.

HR – CLE, Andrew Cox (4th,none on), Seth Beer (9th, none on),

RBI – Williams (1), Cullen (1)

LOB – USC 15, CLE 13.

A – 8,242

Time – 4:40

Gamecock Pitchers: Adam Hill (5.1 IP, 104 pitches), Colie Bowers (1.2 IP, 29 pitches), Reed Scott (0.1, 13 pitches), Josh Reagan (2.2 IP, 48 pitches), Brandon Murray (0.0), Tyler Haswell (0.1), Sawyer Bridges (17 pitches)

HIGHLIGHTS

-- The Gamecocks got a runner to 3B in the bottom of the first when T.J. Hopkins, who has struggled at the plate so far this season, singled and moved to third on a wild pitch and balk. However, Olson popped to 1B to end the inning.

-- Both teams put two runners on base in the second inning, but neither scored. Clemson got a leadoff walk and single before a strikeout and 4-6-3 DP ended the inning. In the bottom half of the second, Alex Destino led off with a double but he didn’t score as the next four batters struckout, singled, flied to short RF (denying Destino opportunity to score) and fly to deep left.

-- Gamecocks finally broke through in the bottom of the third as Hopkins slipped a single through the middle, advanced to 2B on a walk and to 3B on wild pitch. Moment later, Hopkins scored on the second wild pitch of the inning to give the Gamecocks a 1-0 lead.

-- But the lead didn’t long. CU’s Andrew Cox capped an 11-pitch AB by hammering an opposite field HR into the lower LF stands in the top of the fourth. Two more CU reached base on a single + WP, but Hill got out of the inning without further damage.

-- Hill continued to labor in the top of the fifth, but a soft liner that Tolbert leaped to catch at 2B turned into a L-4-3 DP when Beer strayed too far off 1B. In the bottom half, Destino came to the plate with runners on first and second with two outs, but he grounded out to first. The two teams combined for 13 LOB in the first 5 innings.

-- Hill was lifted in the top of the sixth with one out after a HBP, WP and Blair made a nice running catch in LCF. Colie Bowers took the mound with a Clemson baserunner on 3B. With the infield in, Bowers got a groundout at third and a fly to left to keep the go-ahead run from scoring.

-- Bowers’ escape in the top of the sixth paid dividends in the bottom half of the inning when Stokes singled to third with two outs and Cullen ripped a pitch into the left-field corner for a go-ahead RBI double.

-- A throwing error on a two-out routine grounder to Bride at 3B proved costly for the Gamecocks in the top of the seventh. After the error, the Gamecocks intentionally walked Beer to bring Pinder to the plate. He delivered a 2-out RBI single to RCF to even the score at 2-2. Bowers ended the inning with a strikeout.

-- The deadlock didn’t last long. Hopkins started the bottom half of the seventh with a triple off the fence in RCF. Clemson brought in a new pitcher to replace starter Alex Eubanks. Matt Williams greeted him with a opposite field double into left near the line. Hopkins scored easily to give USC a 3-2 lead. Williams, though didn’t advance further as the next three USC batters didn’t hit the ball out of the infield.

-- Reed Scott, who struggled Saturday in Greenville, took the mound for the start of the top of the eighth and walked his first batter. After a flyout, Josh Reagan took over on the mound looking for his first save of the season. Reagan had allowed just 4 hits in9.0 IP when he took the mound. He proved his mettle by striking out the two batters he faced to end the inning, raising his K-to-BB ratio to 14-1 after 9.2 IP.

-- After the Gamecocks stranded two runners in the bottom of the eighth, Reagan got the first two outs in the top of the ninth, but had to face Beer. The count went 3-2 as Reagan and Beer locked into a battle. Reagan’s full count pitch was a little too fine and Beer jumped all over it. He crushed the pitch over the RF fence to tie the score at 3-3.

-- The Gamecocks loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth on a single, HBP and IBB. But a botched bunt attempt by PH Justin Row (batting for Destino) with runners at first and second hurt badly. Stokes came to the plate with the opportunity to win the game but he struckout swinging.

-- Reagan stayed in the game and walked the first two Clemson batters in the top of the 10th. But a 5-3 double play to Bride at 3B and a fly to CF ended the threat.

-- In the bottom half of the 10th, the Gamecocks were positioned again to end the game with a HBP, sacrifice bunt and walk. But a 6-3 double play on a ball hit through the middle by Williams.

-- Clemson scored two runs in the top of the 11th on a wild pitch and RBI single to take a 5-3 lead into the bottom half of the inning. The Gamecocks went quietly in the bottom of the 11th to end the game and the series on a frustrating note.

HOW THE RUNS SCORED:

USC 3rd – Blair flied to right, Hopkins singled to center, Williams flied to center, Olson walked, Hopkins advanced to third + Olson advanced to second on wild pitch, Destino walked and Hopkins scored on wild pitch, Bride grounded to second. ONE RUN, ONE HIT (USC 1-0).

CLE 4th – Pinder struckout swinging, Cox homered to left (RBI), Jackson struckout swinging, Williams singled to left-center, Byrd hit by pitch, Cromwell struckout swinging. ONE RUN, TWO HITS (Tied 1-1).

USC 6th – Bride flied to left, Tolbert flied to right, Stokes singled to third, Cullen doubled into left field corner (RBI), Blair grounded to second. ONE RUN, TWO HITS (USC 2-1).

CLE 7th – Cromwell flied to center, Davidson grounded to short, Rohlman reached on throwing error (E5), Beer intentionally walked, Pinder singled to right-center (RBI), Cox struckout. ONE RUN, ONE HIT (Tied 2-2).

USC 7th - Hopkins tripled to right-center, Williams doubled to left (RBI), Olson struck out looking, Destino grounded to third, Bride grounded to short. ONE RUN, 2 HITS (USC 3-2).

CLE 9th – Davidson flied to center, Rohlman grounded to second, Beer homered to right (RBI), Pinder grounded to short. ONE RUN, ONE HIT (Tied 3-3).

CLE 11th - <Murray for Reagan>, Davidson walked, <Haswell for Murray>, Davidson stole second, Rohlman sacrificed (5-3), Davidson scored on wild pitch, Beer intentionally walked (Bryant PR), <Bridges for Haswell>, Bryant stole 2B, Pinder singled to left (RBI), Pinder stole second, Cox flied to left, Pinder advanced to third on wild pitch, Jackson struckout swinging. TWO RUNS, ONE HIT (CLE 5-3).

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